We hardly know where to begin in discussing the blunder-filled and awkward 40th Annual Daytime Emmy Awards, which aired on June 16 on the HLN cable network. We'll cut to the chase and start with the winners. The most shocking was Heather Tom (Katie, "The Bold and the Beautiful") beating out her castmate Susan Flannery (ex-Stephanie) for best actress. We thought that the now-retired Flannery, a member of the original cast of the show, was a shoo-in. Tom did a great job this year with her postpartum depression story, but this was Flannery's swan song. It was lovely to see Tom making a point of hugging her former co-star before accepting the award.
Best actor went to a deserving Doug Davidson, who has played Paul Williams on "The Young and the Restless" since 1978. He attributed his win to the stellar story in which his character shot his own son to save another life.
The supporting actress nod went to Julie Marie Berman (ex-Lulu, "General Hospital"). It was bittersweet because she has left the show, but she was gracious, especially in thanking co-star Tony Geary for his dedication to their craft. He plays her father, Luke, on the show. The supporting actor category was a tie. It went to previous winners Scott Clifton (Liam, "B&B") and Billy Miller (Billy, "Y&R").
Best younger actress went to Kristen Alderson for playing Starr on "One Life to Live." She has played the role from the time she was a young child, and this is a fitting win. The best younger actor award went to Chandler Massey, yet again, as Will on "Days of our Lives." He paid a fitting tribute to fellow nominee and co-star Freddie Smith.
Best writing and directing went to "B&B," but "Days of our Lives" took the final shocker of the night with its win for best drama series.
Let's get to the awards show itself. In an effort to reinvent the wheel, the show fell flat even with Corbin Bernsen dropping the "F" bomb for the first time in the Daytime Emmy's 40-year history. He was paying tribute to his late mother, the beloved Jeanne Cooper, who played Katherine Chancellor for all of the Daytime Emmys' lifespan until her death last month. The actress was well known for her salty mouth, but Bernsen's profanity was a bit much. It should be noted that both Doug Davidson and Billy Miller paid heartfelt tributes to Cooper when they won their awards.
The show's opening was clunky and drew attention to the glaringly obvious fact that the three hosts had no connection to soaps. It must have seemed like a wonderful idea to interview the winners directly after their wins, but conducting the Q&A's on stage on a huge red couch was a gigantic misstep. We love Nancy Lee Grahn (Alexis, "General Hospital"), but her series of desperate comedy bits were DOA more often than not. HLN morning-show host Robin Meade sang a number of songs, including two nominated daytime songs. Daytime song nominees? We suspect the category was created just so Meade could have an excuse to warble.
The usually adept Wayne Brady got so excited when giving his idol Monty Hall a Lifetime Achievement Award that he introduced him before the reel of his achievements, narrated by Hall's daughter, even ran. And, lest we forget, the wrong winning envelope was given to Aisha Tyler ("The Talk"), who realized the blunder before announcing the winner of the wrong category, and handled it with humor and grace under fire.
We are grateful that HLN has given the Daytime Emmys a home. We just wish they had provided a better framework to celebrate the industry.